Ireland has three private health insurance companies (VHI, Quinn Healthcare, and Hibernian Aviva Health) and they are increasing their premiums during 2010 by as much as 15%. This increase reflects medical inflation and higher health insurance taxes. The tax increase, per month, is from EUR 165 to EUR 180 for each adult subscriber and EUR 53 to EUR 55 for each subscriber younger than age 18. This tax was introduced in 2009 by the Irish Supreme Court to subsidize health insurance costs for those 50 years old and older.
Ireland has a free government health insurance system if you do not count the taxes that all Irish pay towards this type of medical coverage. The government-run health care system is modern and runs reasonably efficiently; however, free as it may be, you are also free to wait. Waiting lists for those without private insurance can stretch for months and up to a year or two, even for critical – but non-emergency- operations like heart surgery. Thus, with those waiting lines one is more apt to go with one of the three private health care plans in Ireland to get onto the “HOV” lane of medical care even though the premiums are high.
For maternity care in Ireland the system is very good when it comes to safety but it is not like in the US where most hospitals are like “hotel hospitals.” So realize that your hospital experience when giving birth in Ireland will be safe and good but the setup is going to be plain and sparse. The more important problem is getting proper care during the pregnancy and waiting lists for some obstetricians can be long.
The Irish government health care system is huge and is the nation’s single biggest budget expenditure as well as employer. Ireland spends 8.2% of GDP on government health care, equivalent to $3,996 per capita. The Health Service Executive is the government body that runs the government health care system and their web site is http://www.hse.ie/eng/ . Another good web site for information on the Irish government health care system is http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/health . The major Irish health site is http://www.irishhealth.com/ . The public government health care system is governed by the Health Care Act signed in 2004 which is responsible for providing health and personal social services to everyone living in Ireland and the new health service officially came into existence on January 1, 2005.
Good Neighbor Insurance provides US style international health insurance plans that may fit your needs. These plans may include maternity if you so desire as well as many other preventative coverages. The IMG GMMI plans at http://healthinsuranceinternational.biz/gmmi.asp are great options as well as our BUPA plans at http://www.onlineglobalhealthinsurance.com/ . Do check all of our long term / career plans at our corporate site at https://www.gninsurance.com/health/ .
Doug Gulleson loves to scuba dive overseas and he makes sure he always takes his Amex card AND international travel insurance policy. Visit Good Neighbor Insurance at www.gninsurance.com for your next overseas trip and get a FREE quote.